Monday, December 21, 2009

favorite children's books

I apologize for not posting my favorite children's books in a while. I have been saving up for this giant post you are about to get. :) I know you are excited and I promise you will be thoroughly pleased by the end of it. Not pleased because it is finally over but pleased because I have so many great recommendations for you!!
There are so many wonderful children's Christmas books out there. I want to narrow down some of, you guessed it, my favorites for you. Yes, Christmas is in 3 days but it is not too late to snag a copy of these, snuggle with your little ones and read up. Though I really like to snuggle up and read these, with or without kids! I'm a sucker for children's books, as you may have guessed.

Here we go:
I hope and pray you were lucky enough to grow up reading Little Critter books. I absolutely LOVED Critter when I was a kid! I couldn't get enough and still can't! I'm lucky to have kids who like him as much as I do. It is a great excuse to read these wonderful books by Mercer Meyer over and over. Merry Christmas Mom and Dad shows exactly the creative genius stored in every child. Critter wants to do so many things for his parents to make Christmas that much better. I love how the dialogue is from his point of view and the illustrations show us exactly what has been left out of Critter's narrow perspective. The gentle beauty of the story of Christmas is shown in this great board book. With a simple, lyrical text and radiant artwork, this book is perfect for the youngest child to be a part of the wonder of the Nativity.
Yes, such a depressing and sad tale of a little match girl who, in fear of being beaten by her father, doesn't want to return home without having sold a single match. So instead she remains outside in the cold, no shoes or warm clothes to shield her from the bitter elements of winter.
But I love it because it is real! It is a great reminder that we always must look farther than our inner circles. We must always be willing to help others, not only at this time of year, but all year round. Hans Christian Andersen also poignantly shows that a child's imagination is never dampened by the hardness of life.
If anything, snag this book and just gander at the wonderful illustrations. They are so alive and colorful and imaginative! I have to give props to my mom for introducing this one to me. Actually, she gave it to my brother for Christmas one year and I've sort of adopted it (sorry, bro). According to Berkley, this true tale was told to him every year by his father at Christmas time. The setting is during the depression and "Red" would love a new bike for Christmas. Of course, with money being sparce, a bike is pretty much out of the question. So he decides to find Kris Kringle himself to ensure that a bike will be waiting for him under the tree Christmas morning.
I think this was another one my brother got for Christmas. Ha! This wonderful book shares with us the insight of what a tree must do in order to be picked to be in the Queen's castle and decorated for Christmas. Unfortunately, for this one tree, being perfect turns into a challenge: a bunny seeks refuge under his limbs; a bird builds a nest within the confines of the branches, making the tree not so perfectly shaped and full.
Rest assured, this one was actually given to me one Christmas. No "borrowing" or "adopting" involved with this book. So last, but certainly not least, for three little trees who dream of what they will be someday - a holder of treasure, a fine ship, a hilltop beacon pointing to God - life proves to have something rather different in store. They are disappointed that their lives are so mundane. And, as the years pass, "the three trees nearly forgot their dreams." Yet each eventually gets its wish, although not in the way it had foreseen.
Enjoy!! And have a MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

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